sexta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge - August 2010 - Baked Alaska

Blog-checking lines: The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Mandatory: Whether we made the Baked Alaska, the petit fours, or both, we should make the brown butter pound cake as written and the ice cream from scratch.

Variations Allowed: Both desserts could be made in any size or shape, and the ice cream could be any flavor we could think of! For the Baked Alaska, we could flavor the meringue however we wanted.

Brown Butter Pound Cake
19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

I must tell you the smell of the brown butter is unbelieveble! When I was Beating the dough I though I'd Eat everything before baking it. When the cake was in the oven, oh my God! But  when I tasted the cake it was disapointing. It is not bad but it was even close to what I though it would be. All that delicious smelling had vanished and it was not that tasteful either. :( A pitty!

Coffee Ice Cream
1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
2 egg whites
1/2 cup whipped cream
1 tspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix the coffee and the sugar and bring it to boil until it gets thick. Beat the egg whites and the salt on high speed in a electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the syrup in a stream, beat in low speed. Continue beating in high speed until cooled. Freeze for an hour. Beat the whipped cream and the vanilla extract. Add the Coffee mixture and freeze again.

I thought this coffee ice cream would match wonderfully with this cake and this time I was right. I loved this ice cream. So easy to be made and what a good taste! The recipe I found in a Brazilian website, Tudo Gostoso.

2 egg whites

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
In a sauce pan, mix water and sugar. Cook over medium heat  until it gets thick. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the syrup in a stream, beat in low speed. Continue beating in high speed until cooled.

Assembly Instructions
1. Line four 4” (10cm) diameter tea cups with plastic wrap, so that plastic wrap covers all the sides and hangs over the edge. Fill to the top with ice cream. Cover the top with the overhanging plastic wrap and freeze for several hours, or until solid.

2. Level the top of the brown butter pound cake with a serrated knife or with a cake leveler. Cut out four 4” (10cm) diameter circles from the cake. Discard the scraps or use for another purpose.

3. Make the meringue

4. Unwrap the ice cream “cups” and invert on top of a cake round. Trim any extra cake if necessary.

5. Pipe the meringue over the ice cream and cake, or smooth it over with a spatula, so that none of the ice cream or cake is exposed. Freeze for one hour or up to a day.

6. Burn the tips of the meringue with a cooking blow torch. Or, bake the meringue-topped Baked Alaskas on a rimmed baking sheet in a 500°F/260°C oven for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Serve immediately.

I didn't make things exactly like that. I placed the ice cream on the top of cake with a scoop and just covered it with the meringue and placed it in the oven. I WANT A COOKING BLOW TORCH. That's all I have to say...

Additional Information:

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_brown_butter/ - Great article on browning butter with step by step photos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7aTU5wLyz0&feature=fvsr – Video of how to transfer ice cream from plastic wrap-lined cup to cake (Baked Alaska)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v98pZYBnUEc – Video on how to glaze petit fours (fast forward to 3:00 minutes. Includes poured fondant recipe)

http://userealbutter.com/2008/04/15/lemon-petits-fours-recipe/ - Simple syrup and poured fondant recipes (Petit Fours)

http://www.bakersroyale.com/cakes/easter-tea-cakes/ - Poured buttercream instructions

Baked Alaska decoration ideas:

 Thanks to Elissa for hosting this challenge. I have always thought in making a Baked Alaska but It was never the right time for it. 

Também em www.labgastro.blogspot.com

terça-feira, 24 de agosto de 2010

Vegetables with Cheese Sauce

As promised in my previous post, here's the second recipe with fresh asparagus. If you ask me which one I liked most I'll answer that the two recipes are very good. This one has a stronger flavor sauce, which combined very well with the vegetables used, but the asparagus kind of disappeared in the middle of everything. It is perfectly possible to make this dish with other vegetables and keep your asparagus for other productions.
On the other hand the first recipe, Asparagus with Orange, presented more delicate flavors, and the sweet-acid flavour of the orange was a great match with the asparagus. So if what you want, like me, is to enjoy the full taste of asparagus, my vote goes to this first recipe.

Enough talk! Let me write down this recipe

Vegetables with Cheese Sauce
 2 cups fresh asparagus
1 cup zucchini, sliced
1 1 / 2 cups cauliflower bouquets
1 cup carrots cut into bat

1 / 4 cup milk
1 / 4 cup cottage cheese
1 tsp lime juice
A pinch of mustard powder - I was really generous with the pinch, and even added one more. I assure you that made all the difference!

Remove the fiber from the stalks of asparagus. Be careful not to break their upper points. Cut the base of the stem (that white part which is harder, + / - 2cm). Tie the asparagus in a bundle and cook them in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Put them in the pan with the tips up, almost out of water. Drain, refresh in cold water and arrange them on a dish where it will be served. Cook the remaining vegetables separately in salted water, but let them "al dente", or at least not too soft. Arrange them on serving platter.
Beat all the sauce ingredients in a blender until the mixture is smooth and serve over vegetables (I chose to mix everything by hand. I liked this more rustic appearance).
Bon Appetit!

Também em www.labgastro.blogspot.com

segunda-feira, 23 de agosto de 2010

Asparagus with Orange

These days I intend to publish recipes I found in some old magazines and that I decided to try. Unfortunately not all the photos were good, but still ...

I love asparagus. I always liked them.Green ones, white ones, fresh ones, preserved ones. So you can already imagine my joy when I noticed that now we can find them more easily in our markets. Every time I go to the grocerries and they are there, you can be sure that I buy them.

This week, there they were. Twice. Therefore, it is already known, you gonna see two recipes with asparagus here. Both were very good. This is the first one

Asparagus with Orange
1 / 2 kg fresh asparagus
1 / 4 cup orange juice - in fact I ended up using almost a full cup
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 / 4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 orange into wedges

Remove the fiber from the stalks of asparagus. Be careful not to break their upper points. Cut the base of the stem (that white part which is harder, + / - 2cm). Tie the asparagus in a bundle and cook them in boiling water with salt for 5 minutes. Put them in the pan with the tips up, almost out of water. Drain, refresh in cold water and arrange them on a dish where it will be served.
Place all other ingredients except the orange slices in a separate saucepan and cook over low heat until starting to thicken. Pour this sauce over the asparagus and garnish with slices of orange. Serve hot.


Também em www.labgastro.blogspot.com

sábado, 14 de agosto de 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge - August 2010 - Pierogi

Blog-checking lines: The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

Mandatory: we had to make the dough from scratch (no ready made won ton wrapper etc. allowed!) and we also had to make filling from scratch.

Variations allowed: we could choose our filling: sweet or savoury.

Two different recipes were provided. I chose this one, with some variations:

Cottage Cheese Wareneki (pierogi)

½ cup (125 ml) milk  - I would add some cinnamon or cloves or ginger for sweet version or some herb for savory ones
½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
3 large egg whites
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
3 cups (450 g) all-purpose flour
Mix flour and salt, add other ingredients, and knead dough until you have a smooth dough.
On a floured surface roll out fairly thin (1/8” or about 3 millimeters), cut into 2” (5 cm) squares, and fill with 1 tsp (5ml) cottage cheese filling.

Filling - Traditional
1 lb (455 g) dry cottage cheese
3 large egg yolks
Salt to taste
Mix well all the ingredients for the filling. Put 1 rounded teaspoon (5 ml) of the filling in each square, fold corners to form a triangle, seal edges well using your fingers or a fork. Cook in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes.
I made some variations to the whole process: I chose the sweet version of the pierogi and made a riccota cheese, dried apricot and chopped walnuts filling. I also added cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange zests to the boiling water in which I'd cooked the pierogis.

If you can’t find dry cottage cheese, simply drain normal cottage cheese by nesting the cottage in a few layers of cheese cloth or a fine sieve over a bowl.

Boiled pierogi can also be fried after boiling for a nice crunchy dumpling and so I did. I got 41 pierogis and fried half of them.

I served the boiled pierogis with a balsamic and wild berries caramel ( no, I didn't make it. Just bought a bottle at the supermarcket.) The fried ones were served with an apricot sauce = apricot jam, water and white wine vinegar, mixed and heated.

I must confess the first time I read the recipe I didn't believe this pierogi thing could be tasty. It remindes me of gnocchi without the sauce. Well I can't say it's the best thing I've ever tasted but it is not the worst either.

I'd like to thank Liz and Anna for this challenge. I had the amazing chance to learn something new to me. And it is always nice.

A little visual help:

Video: How to make varenyky / pierogi (Youtube)
Video: How to make pierogi (About.com)

Também em www.labgastro.blogspot.com